USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Guess what? Women are still shopping for and buying guns across the United States, and they may not be the type of women you think.
This growing demographic remains vital to the preservation of our shooting sports heritage. Don’t be fooled by the mainstream media who highlights women groups proclaiming they are for gun safety, but in reality, they are anti-gun, as the majority voice for all women; from my experience, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.
I have the great fortune of traveling around the country as the President and Founder of Shoot Like A Girl. Since 2009, I’ve talked to most of the 20,000 women from across the United States who have participated in Shoot Like A Girl’s experience. In the first five years of the business, we introduced women to archery; and the past five years ladies had the opportunity to experience shooting a semi-automatic pistol, an AR rifle, and compound bows. Statistically, over 72% of these women commit to buying a gun, 36% commit to buying a bow, and 33% want to begin hunting.
I’m proud of the grassroots effort Shoot Like A Girl leads, and want to share some observations of these women based upon my interactions with them.
The one thing we cannot define is what a woman who is interested in shooting sports looks like. Where women are concerned, the discussion about guns is not political or cultural. I know it isn’t nice to stereotype people, and many people do. I can assure you – we’ve seen a full spectrum of women: Republicans, Democrats, ultra-conservatives, ultra-liberals, millennials, hippies, punk rockers, goth ladies, country gals, city girls, Hollywood types, and baby boomers visit the trailer. The women are from every economic situation. We also see a great deal of diversity in age, race, sexual orientation, physical fitness levels, and physical ability and/or limitation levels.
One of the few things that is absolutely the same about the women who visit Shoot Like A Girl is the smile on their face after they experience shooting. The other thing that is similar is that no matter what part of the country we are in, the sentiment of their words is the same, even when the accents are not. The ladies talk to us about their desires to safely protect their families, their yearnings to spend quality time with their loved ones, to learn to hunt to provide food for their families; and the fears and barriers that prevent them entering shooting sports.
It is essential that as a community of shooting sports participants, athletes, hunters, retailers, manufacturers, and advocates we continue to recognize the importance of women in the preservation and continued growth of shooting sports in America. An NSSF [National Shooting Sports Foundation] report confirms women are important to creating generational and enduring participants. The data reported that when only dad participates in shooting, 46% of the boys and 13% of the girls in that home will also participate; but add mom to the equation, and the percentages rise to 64% of the boys and 50% of the girls who participate. I encourage you to reach out to the women in your neighborhoods, workplaces, and churches and talk to them about shooting sports, take them to the range or bring them to the Shoot Like A Girl mobile range! You may be surprised by the “type” of women who is interested.
Karen Butler is the Founder and President of SLG², Inc, DBA: Shoot Like A Girl, a company dedicated to growing the number of women who participate in shooting sports by empowering them with confidence. www.shootlikeagirl.com